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  • Writer's pictureNoah Nikolai

Parker Fall Sports Stay Strong: 9/11-9/23 Sports Recap

The fall sports season got off to a quick start and it’s only picking up steam as we quickly approach the midpoint of both the cross country and volleyball schedules. Particularly in volleyball, with their regular season schedule wrapping up on October 10th, the varsity team is looking to secure one of the eight spots on offer to make it to the postseason.


9/13: Intramural Dodgeball Final


The culmination of the first intramural competition of the year took place on the Parker school court between the two most dominant teams throughout the tournament, Team Siena and Team Takumi. After being knocked down to the losers bracket by Team Takumi, Team Siena fought their way back to the final and a chance at redemption. After each winning one of the first two games, and with a crowd of lower schoolers gathered to watch, in the third game Team Siena got out to an early advantage, but quickly lost it and the team leader was faced with a 3v1 to keep the team’s title hopes alive. To the delight of the crowd she managed to whittle it down to a 1v1 against the opposing captain as the match went to full court. Free to move around as they pleased, Takumi and Siena drew closer and Siena made the first throw, but Takumi deflected it and responded with a decisive toss that bounced off the freshman and clinched Team Takumi the title of intramural champions.


Standout Performer: Takumi Wetherell

The victorious team leader had an impact in all three games, but his biggest contribution was undoubtedly the title-clinching hit. This garnered him another intramural t-shirt, and avenged his loss in last year’s dodgeball final.


9/14: Varsity Girls Volleyball vs Kanu


Coming off of their first loss of the season at HPA, the varsity team was looking to bounce back and get back the momentum from their two initial wins. Their first opportunity to do so was against another Waimea rival, at the first Parker home event for any sport this year. They quickly put the HPA loss in the rear-view mirror with a dominant 25-4 first set win. In front of supporters for both schools, the Bulls didn’t let off the gas, closing out the match with comfortable wins in the second and third sets, breezing by 25-15 and 25-14. While Parker dominated the match in almost all facets, the biggest factor contributing to their most convincing victory yet was their serving. The team was able to repeatedly get aces against Kanu and served their way to a 3-1 record ahead of another home game against Ka’u.


Standout Performer: Nora Goldsmith

Leading the attack for Parker once again was middle blocker Nora Goldsmith. Building off of her impressive performances throughout the year already, she once again made her presence known on all areas of the court, especially from behind the line as she added to her tally of service aces for the season.


9/16: Boys Cross Country @ Waiakea


Once again heading up to the East side of the island, the cross country team was faced with high temperatures for the boys race as they looked to build on their impressive start to the season. With their standard fifth runner (sophomore Kai Garcia-Tobar) out sick the Bulls faced an uphill battle to hang onto the top two finish they had become accustomed to, but still looked to stay atop the D-II leaderboard. Despite the heat, there were plenty of fast times from Parker’s runners, with five new personal bests and two sub-20 minute times. However, it wasn’t only Parker who was pushing times down, and the rotation in their lineup ended up costing the Bulls as they came in 4th overall and lost out to D-II rivals HPA by one point. Even with this result there was still reason to celebrate on the individual level, as junior Riley Todd, sophomore David O’Dell, and senior Elwin Futrell Shotts all qualified for the BIIF championship meet.


Standout Performer: Elwin Futrell Shotts

In the absence of their normal 5th scoring runner, the Bulls needed someone to fill that spot to maintain a solid team placement, and this senior stepped up to that challenge. Improving on his PB by 90 seconds, he managed to hang on to a top half finish and keep Parker among the top schools in the rankings. He also punched his ticket to the BIIF championship meet at this race as this was the second BIIF competition that he had run in.


9/16: Girls Cross Country @ Waiakea


Following the conclusion of the boys race, similarly to the previous week’s event, the conditions began to improve prior to the start of the girls race, with the appearance of some cloud cover very much appreciated by the competitors. As the race wore on, the temperature started to climb back up, but the competitors managed to fight through the heat and Isabel Camp and Kaya Long both placed in the top 30 on the back of personal best times for each of them. With senior Nisha Poag suiting up for her first race of the season, Parker looked poised to register a team score for the first time this year in a girls race. Unfortunately, sophomore Georgia Kasameyer was unable to complete the course due to injury concerns, meaning Parker was once again left off the team results sheet.


Standout Performer: Isabel Camp

Three races into her cross country career, Isabel Camp, a sophomore, has now recorded three personal records over the 5 kilometer distance, all of them under 30 minutes, this one in just under 26 minutes. Coming in 22nd out of 81 finishers, she looks likely to only continue rising up the rankings as the BIIF championship race draws nearer.


9/16: Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball vs Ka’u


Much like the varsity team two days prior, the JV team was looking to bounce back from a tough loss in their previous match (at Kohala). They got off to a good start, winning the first set of the match for the third time in a row 25-20. This was followed by a hard fought second set as the Bulls looked to close out the game and Ka’u looked to extend it to a third set. The set ended up going deep into deuce, with both teams having chances to win it, but ultimately the Trojans prevailed 30-28 and forced a decisive third set. In their last match the Bulls gave away the third set, having let too much of the pressure get to them, but this time they were able to hold their nerve and overcome a few mistakes to take the set 15-10 and secure their second win (also their first in front of the home crowd). Now 2-1 on the season, they turned their focus to their upcoming match in Kona against Ehunui.


Standout Performer: Kennedi-Grace Magaoay

In what was at times a sloppy affair, the junior team captain played an important role in bringing consistency to the Parker lineup. Leading the team as both their captain and primary setter, she helped the team rally through the critical third set to claim their second win.


9/16: Varsity Girls Volleyball vs Ka’u


Fresh off their win, the Bulls met an undefeated Ka’u side at home for a chance to stake their claim as one of the best teams in the league. In the first set Parker was unable to take a decisive advantage, but managed to keep it close, losing by only four points, 25-21. The second set was even closer than the first as both teams battled for control of the match, but Parker came out on top, leveling the match at one set apiece. Unfortunately, following that things took a turn for the worse for Parker and they lost the third set by a surprising 25-11 margin and forced themselves to win two consecutive sets to claim the victory. Heading into a must-win fourth set (the first time any match has gone beyond three sets this year for the Bulls), they couldn’t quite get back the form they had held earlier in the match and were defeated 25-18. Despite this loss, they still held onto a winning record and could look forward to an easier slate of opponents coming up in the next couple matches.


Standout Performer: Jalyssa Castaneda

Though the defensive side of play often gets overlooked, Jalyssa Castaneda, a junior, managed to stand out in her contributions from the back half of the court. Willing as ever to leave it all on the line to keep the ball off the ground, she represents the kind of defensive ability and dedication that is necessary on any successful team.


9/19: Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball @ Ehunui


Hot off their recent home victory, the JV team made their way down to Kona to face Ehunui, a school that has only a junior varsity team this season. Heading into this match the JV squad had won all four of the first sets in their matches, and they extended the streak to face, controlling the first set and claiming a 25-17 victory. The second set was much more competitive as Parker committed more mistakes than in the first set, but were still able to keep up with Ehunui throughout the set. In order to avoid their third straight match going to a tiebreaker, the Bulls had to win the second set and they kept fighting to send the set into deuce. They managed to end the match with a 26-24 win in the second set, moving up to 3-1 on the season with that win and can now look forward to a bit of rest, as they did not need to make the trip to Laupahoehoe since they don’t field a JV team.


Standout Performer: Mailhana Jara-Hess

Coming into the JV team this year, this sophomore has found her way into a prominent role in the team and turned in an impressive performance in their win on Tuesday. Managing to fill in at setter, commonly classified as the most technically difficult position, she played at a high level throughout the entire match and is a player to watch as she continues her volleyball career at Parker.


9/19: Varsity Girls Volleyball @ Makua Lani


Once again looking to recover from a tough loss, the varsity team followed up the JV win with a three set thrashing of the Makua Lani Lions. The Bulls got off to a hot start with a 25-8 win in the first set, managing the game and stifling any attempts to change the tide of the game. Starting in the second set, Parker began to put in more backups, giving more players time and the court and match experience. However, this allowed Makua Lani to take the lead in the set and forced the Bulls to sub back in their starting lineup, who had no problem erasing the deficit to win the second set 25-20 and closing out the match with a decisive 25-11 win in the third set. This win pushed them above their total above what they accomplished last season, and with the regular season only halfway through, they are positioned well to further add to that tally.


Standout Performer: Danica Castaneda-Petrowski

Hopping straight up from junior varsity to the main rotation in this year’s varsity team, this junior has had no problem stepping into the role of setting for the varsity squad and was instrumental in Parker’s dominance this match. She helped keep the pressure on Makua Lani, teeing up the hitters who put away point after point, and helped steer the team back into the lead in the second set after the team went down early.


9/22: Varsity Girls Volleyball @ Laupahoehoe


Sitting on an impressive 4-2 record, and coming off their recent win, Parker was ready and eager to make the trip out to the Seasiders to continue their 2023 campaign. Unfortunately, the extreme amounts of traffic on the drive over threatened to force a change of plans for the Bulls. However, unable to reschedule the match, Parker ended up making it out to Laupahoehoe (albeit significantly delayed) and were forced straight into a much abbreviated warm up for the match. Despite the long drive, and the inadequate time for preparation, the Bulls started the match swinging, grabbing an early advantage by winning the first set 25-23. They then followed that up by winning the second set more comfortably, 25-18, but missed out on the sweep as they dropped the third set 22-25. Despite this, they were unfazed and got right back to business and put the Seasiders away 25-14 in the fourth, bumping the team to 5-2 on the season. That fifth win all but clinches them a spot in the BIIF playoffs and means the team can now pursue home court advantage in their first playoff match, or even a potential bye if they can manage enough wins in the back half of their regular season.


Standout Performer: Siena Long

This freshman stepped into the outside hitter position (a change from her normal duties as setter) and turned in a strong performance in her first ever high school match at that position. Even after this match was over, she would continue to represent Parker over the weekend, as just 8 hours after the conclusion of this match she would begin her first ever debate tournament at 3:30am the following morning.


9/23: Boys Cross Country @ Kamehameha


For the second time in just three weeks the cross country team made its way up to Kamehameha to compete over the weekend. On another sunny day in Kea’au, Parker lined up with a diminished roster, as captain Takumi Wetherell and junior Noah Nikolai were both competing in an online debate tournament at the time of the race. In spite of missing two of their scoring runners Parker was still able to place well as a team, coming in the top half of the overall standings and 4th in D-II. This was made possible by solid performances from the normal scoring runners, as well as respectable finishes (65th and 82nd respectively) from Elwin Futrell Shotts and David O’Dell slotting into the 4th and 5th scoring positions.


Standout Performer: Matthew Shemwell

Coming off a massive PB the previous week at Waiakea, this senior came in with an even more impressive result at his second time out on the Kamehameha course. He was able to correct his mistakes from the last event on the course and placed in 14th (his highest placement ever), and came in first amongst Parker runners, narrowly edging out sophomore Tobias Gordon who came in 15th, just over a second behind.


9/23: Girls Cross Country @ Kamehameha


Like the boys team, the girls team was also missing their captain at this race, as Isabella Russo was fulfilling her dual role as debate team captain at Parker’s first debate tournament of the year. This meant that, once again, the Bulls would be left off the team score sheet, but there is a great deal of optimism that new additions Gibson McIntosh and Fiona Eddy (both juniors) will be able to feature in Parker’s home race next week at Waiki’i and get the Parker girls their elusive team placement. However, just because there was no possibility of a team result didn’t mean Parker’s runners didn’t give it their all, and in fact every one of the three racers who lined up for the Bulls finished in the top half of the field of 82 competitors. Senior Kaya Long led the way in 20th place, Isabel Camp followed 30 seconds behind in 25th, and Georgia Kasameyer wrapped the day up for Parker at 35th.


Standout Performer: Georgia Kasameyer

After having to drop out of the last race, and having most of her season so far hampered by injury, this sophomore and former state qualifier is beginning to find her stride again this year. She logged her best time of the year so far (28:03.02) en route to qualifying for the BIIF championship meet. She’ll be looking to continue rising up the rankings through the rest of the season as she returns to the form that qualified her for the state championship race last year.

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